OBJECTIVE: Few biomarkers for dietary intake of various food groups have been established. The aim of the present study was to explore whether selenium (Se), iodine, mercury (Hg) or arsenic may serve as a biomarker for total fish and seafood intake in addition to the traditionally used n-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. DESIGN: Intake of fish and seafood estimated by an FFQ was compared with intake assessed by a 4 d weighed food diary and with biomarkers in blood and urine. SETTING: Validation study in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa). SUBJECTS: One hundred and nineteen women. RESULTS: Total fish/seafood intake (median 39 g/d) calculated with the MoBa FFQ was comparable to intake calculated by the food diary (median 30 g/d, rS = 0.37, P
RefSource: Public Health Nutr. 2009 Dec;12(12):2536-7
Long-chain polyunsaturated n-3 and n-6 fatty acids are present in human milk, but not in the majority of infant formulas sold in Denmark. The content of the n-3 fatty acid DHA is high in retinal tissue and cerebral cortex. A number of studies have suggested that the content of DHA has a positive influence on the function of cell membranes. Preterm infants receiving human milk or infant formula with DHA have a better visual acuity than those receiving infant formula without DHA. In term infants receiving infant formula the content of DHA in plasma, red blood cell membranes and cerebral tissue is reduced compared to breast-fed infants.
Fetal growth requires n-3 docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which is derived from the essential n-3 fatty acids in the maternal diet. DHA is accumulated in the developing brain and is critical for normal neural and visual function. Available estimates suggest that 67 mg DHA/d is accumulated by the fetus during the third trimester of gestation. Little is known about n-3 fatty acid intakes in pregnant women, although human milk concentrations of DHA have decreased in recent years.
We prospectively determined the n-3 and n-6 fatty acid intakes of 55 pregnant Canadian women.
A food-frequency questionnaire was completed at 28 and 35 wk, and plasma n-3 and n-6 fatty acids were measured at 35 wk gestation. The fatty acid composition of approximately 500 foods was analyzed to allow analysis of dietary intakes from specific foods.
Intakes, as a percentage of energy, were (macro x +/- SEM) total fat, 28.0 +/- 3.6%; saturated fat, 9.8 +/- 0.3%; monounsaturated fat, 11.2 +/- 0.4%; polyunsaturated fat, 4.7 +/- 0.2%; linoleic acid, 3.9 +/- 0.2%; and alpha-linolenic acid, 0.54 +/- 0.05%. The daily intakes (range) were 160 +/- 20 (24-524) mg DHA/d, 121 +/- 8 (15-301) mg arachidonic acid/d, and 78 +/- 2 (4-125) mg eicosapentaenoic acid/d. The plasma phospholipids had (mg/100 g fatty acid) 5.0 +/- 0.18 DHA, 8.7 +/- 0.18 arachidonic acid, and 0.52 +/- 0.32 eicosapentaenoic acid.
The low intake of DHA among some pregnant women highlights the need for studies to address the functional significance of maternal fat intakes during pregnancy on fetal development.